Super Bomberman (1993)

Super BombermanSuper Bomberman Game Review

Super Bomberman is a 1993 platform action video game and the first game in the series. It is surprisingly good given the fact that it is the very first.

The gameplay here is great whether you choose to play the battle or the normal mode. First I will talk about the latter. It consists of six worlds each having eight stages within. The last of the eight is the boss fight. Now, I absolutely adore this series in both competitive and single-player mode. I love that it is divided into distinct worlds and each with its own set of enemies. But my flaw with it in this particular game is twofold. First, it is way too short to be enjoyed more. It just has six worlds and it is easily finished. My second and much bigger problem is that Super Bomberman is overly simple to beat. The difficulty should have been much higher. Now, the enemies are not the problem as some of them are annoyingly difficult in the levels themselves with great abilities, but the bosses are the biggest problem that the game never overcame. They are just too easy when compared to the usual levels when they should be harder. Yes, some of them are okay and most have interesting designs and abilities, but both the number of lives you get and the bosses’ easy to predict movements make them too easy to finish off.

That is one of the biggest reasons why it is much inferior to ‘Mega Bomberman’ which is in my opinion one of the greatest video games in history and my personally all-time favorite. I absolutely love that game and that is not only for its addictive battle mode, but for how difficult the normal mode is as well which is the reason why Super Bomberman can never compare. But it can compare in the battle modes for sure.

Yes, the battle mode here is stupendous. It is in some ways even better than in the aforementioned game. It has more stages to choose from, with 12 of them to be exact, most of which highly entertaining. Some are quite weak with the Power Zone being problematic, Normal Zone having the unfortunate choice of putting you in the middle of the arena which is super weird and reduces the length of the play and Western Zone is just a weakly animated rendering of the first stage with no distinguishing qualities whatsoever. But all of the other stages are absolutely superb and some, which are the same as in ‘Mega Bomberman‘, are first conceived here as this is the earlier game and that is why I appreciate it most. The Jump Zone is probably the most unique and weird as well, Tunnel Zone is very well executed and one of the hardest, Duel Zone is a different take on the all-out fight with the items spread throughout the whole arena. Light Zone is very frustrating in its difficulty and the most authentic for sure and the Speed Zone is also a standout.

It is always better to play the battle mode with a friend and an actual human being than with a computer. However, the A.I. in Super Bomberman is in some ways better than the one in my favorite game, but still weaker in some aspects. It is weaker because the opponents sometimes just stop fighting for some reason and stay with the bomb and await their doom which is just so ridiculous. However, on the other side, they can use special abilities here which is a refreshing approach. Also, they surprised me at times with violent and pretty well organized attacks which is the reason why my whole experience with battle mode lasted so much longer than with the adventure one.

But the level design is easily the highlight of the whole game in both modes. It is also super entertaining to play and it is just fun with a great concept as always. The character design is solid, the graphics are okay for the time but nothing too remarkable and the lack of a story is troublesome. But the score is marvelous and though too fast, it is excellent as is the sound. And although the opponents are weak in the story, the enemies in battles are surprisingly good. And Super Bomberman is also highly original in some designs of the levels and stages. And there were no bugs whatsoever which is a great accomplishment.

Super Bomberman does last for an incredible short time and the story mode is lacking and rather easy, but the battle mode is the highlight with some incredibly well imagined stages, stupendous enemies and an overall addictive gameplay, solid soundtrack and great level design. It is a flawed, but still a stupendous game for being the first in the series.

My Rating – 3.9

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